For Immediate Release
Paddlers take home $4,000 in prize money at Paddler Pro Invitational
May 30, 2006
Contact: Eugene Buchanan
(Steamboat Springs, Colo.): Nearly 40 of the world’s best kayakers descended upon Paddler magazine’s hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colo., on Memorial Day to compete in the Paddler magazine Pro Invitational. Presented by Dagger kayaks, the event pitted kayaking all-stars against one another in two events: a Class IV-V race down Upper Fish Creek and a freestyle competition at Charlie’s Hole downtown.
Created to reward the competitor with the best all-around whitewater kayaking skills, the Invitationalâ€”part of Paddler’s 15th anniversary celebrationâ€”offered $4,000 in prize money as bounty, with points awarded for placings in the individual events going towards the overall title. High water levels early in the week made competitors nervous as three boaters took swims during practice. But on race day, Fish Creek was the ideal level for racing and setting safety. Vail, Colo.’s Brad Ludden won the Fish Creek Race at 4:18, earning 20 points toward the overall title, with Tao Berman taking second two seconds back followed by Jay Kincaid in third. True to form, Kincaid looked brilliant in the freestyle, winning every round but one to win the overall title and take home $1,650 in winnings. Ludden pocketed $650 for taking second overall after finishing fourth in freestyle.
On the women’s side, Australian Tanya Faux dominated both the creek and freestyle disciplines, winning $1,000 for the overall title. New Zealand’s Nikki Kelly placed second overall, followed by Canada’s Ruth Gordon. â€œThis is the kind of event that paddling needs to focus on more,â€ says Faux. â€œCombined competitions really showcase the athleticism of whitewater paddlers.â€
The Pro Invitational was capped off by an anniversary party at Sun Pie’s Bistro Monday night. â€œIt was such a good event that people are already asking us if we’ll host another one next year,â€ says Paddler Publisher Eugene Buchanan.
Paddler would like to thank sponsors Dagger, the City of Steamboat Springs, Kokatat, Fortress, Dermatone, Adventure Technology, Smith and the American Canoe Association.
1. Jay Kincaid
Men’s Creek Race
Women’s Creek Race